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Work Samples

The Bel Loc Diner Trailer

The Bel Loc Diner is a black & white, cinema verite piece showing this cultural icon in all of its glory. It premiered in LA at the historic Grauman's Chinese Theatre and in NY at the Anthology Archives in 2019. It was awarded Best Cinematography for Short Documentary with the Silver State Film Festival and is slated to screen with the Hell's Kitchen NYC Film Fest in January 2020.

Jaime & the Tamales - Trailer

This is a 16 mm, black & white, cinema verite piece showing Jaime selling his tamales on a sunny day in Baltimore. It made its international premiere with the L'Age d'Or Int'l Arthouse Film Festival in May 2019, where it won Best Women's Film. It premiered in LA in April 2018 at the Silicon Beach Film Festival, where it won Best Cinematography for Short Documentary and in NY with NewFilmmaker's NY at the Anthology Film Archives. It has also screened with the Silver State Film Festival in Las Vegas and Experiments in Cinema in New Mexico.

Porkchop & the 28th St North Carolina Watermelons - Trailer

This is a 16 mm, black & white, cinema verite piece showing Porkchop selling his watermelons on a hot summer day in Baltimore. It premiered in LA September 2018 with the Golden State Film Festival and in NY with the Bushwick Film Festival in October 2017. It won the Audience Award for Short Documentary with Silicon Beach Miami Film Festival and the Special Jury Award with the Southern Colorado Film Festival. It has also screened with the Short to the Point Film Festival, Bucharest, Romania, Experiments in Cinema, and Los Angeles Cinefest.

That Summer Feeling

My paintings appeared on the LED Billboard in 2015.

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About Raissa

Baltimore City

Raissa Contreras's picture
     Raissa Contreras is an artist, filmmaker, and educator in Baltimore City. She has an MA in Film & Video from MICA and an MFA in Painting from the University of New Mexico. Her teaching and work are inter or multi-disciplinary and she has exhibited nationally and internationally.  She was a 2019 recipient of a Maryland State Arts Grant for Media Arts.      Four of her films have premiered in LA since 2018 and have won numerous awards. Her most recent... more

The Bel Loc Diner

This is a black & white, cinema verite piece showing the Bel Loc Diner in all of its glory. It is an impressionionistic depiction of daily life. It premiered at Grauman's Chinese Theater in LA and the Anthology Film Archives in NY. It was awarded Best Cinematography for Short Doc with the Silver State Film Festival in Las Vegas and is slated to screen with the Hell's Kitchen NYC Fest in January 2020.

  • The Bel Loc Diner Trailer

    The Bel Loc Diner is a black & white, cinema verite piece showing this cultural icon in all of its glory. It premiered in LA at the historic Grauman's Chinese Theatre and in NY at the Anthology Archives in 2019. It was awarded Best Cinematography for Short Documentary with the Silver State Film Festival and is slated to screen with the Hell's Kitchen NYC Film Fest in January 2020.
  • Film Still

    A film still
  • Film Still

    This still exhibited at the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art in June 2019.
  • Film Still

    a film still
  • Film Still

    a closing film still

Jaime & the Tamales

This is a 16 mm, black & white, cinema verite short depicting Jaime selling his tamales on a sunny day in Baltimore. It is imagistic & painterly, informed by my background in painting. It made its world premiere May 2019 with the L'Age d'Or International Arthouse Film Festival where it won Best Women's Film. It premiered in LA with the Silicon Beach Film Festival in April 2018 where it won Best Cinematography for Short Documentary and in NY with NewFilmmakers NY at the Anthology Film Archives. It also screened in 2018 with the Silver State Film Festival in Las Vegas and Experiments in Cinema in New Mexico.

  • Jaime & the Tamales - Trailer

    This is a 16 mm, black & white, cinema verite piece showing Jaime selling his tamales on a sunny day in Baltimore. It made its international premiere with the L'Age d'Or Int'l Arthouse Film Festival in May 2019, where it won Best Women's Film. It premiered in LA in April 2018 at the Silicon Beach Film Festival, where it won Best Cinematography for Short Documentary and in NY with NewFilmmaker's NY at the Anthology Film Archives. It has also screened with the Silver State Film Festival in Las Vegas and Experiments in Cinema in New Mexico.
  • Film Still

    Film Still

Porkchop & the 28th St North Carolina Watermelons

This is a 16 mm, black & white, cinema verite piece showing Porkchop selling his watermelons on a summer day in Baltimore. It is informed by street photography and the dreamlike elements of painting. It premiered in LA with the Golden State Film Festival and in NY with the Bushwick Film Festival. It screeened with the Silicon Beach Miami Film Festival where it won the Audience Award for Short Doc and with the Southern Colorado Film Festival where it won the Special Jury Award. It has also shown with the Short to the Point Film Festival in Bucharest, Romania, Experiments in Cinema and the Los Angeles Cinefest. It rec'd Honorable Mention with the LA Underground Film Festival.

  • Porkchop & the 28th St North Carolina Watermelons - Trailer

    This is a 16 mm, black & white, cinema verite piece showing Porkchop selling his watermelons on a hot summer day in Baltimore. It premiered in LA September 2018 with the Golden State Film Festival and in NY with the Bushwick Film Festival in October 2017. It won the Audience Award for Short Documentary with Silicon Beach Miami Film Festival and the Special Jury Award with the Southern Colorado Film Festival. It has also screened with the Short to the Point Film Festival, Bucharest, Romania, Experiments in Cinema, and Los Angeles Cinefest.
  • Film Still

    Film Still
  • Film Still

    Film Still
  • Film Still

    Film Still
  • Porkchop Poster

    film poster

Christmas Retrospective 2018

This work was originally set in San Ysidro Church, an adobe church, in Corrales, NM. I was inspired by the church decorating periods throughout history and the work of Tiepolo in particular, who I researched in travels through Italy. I decorated the entire church as I reinterpreted the Madonna & Child imagery. My ever present symbol, the chicken, acts as messenger, harbinger, visitor. Chickens assist in escorting the Madonna to heaven in my Assumption based on a vision I had in NM. I had been unable to show this body of work since that installation for lack of a proper space. When the West Gallery opened, I had the space to resurrect a good portion it and give a sense of the whole. The work reflects ideas surrounding Christmas so a show this time of year created nice symmetry. I include two shots from the original installation in these examples.

Street Photography

This is digital street photography. It has exhibited with the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art and the Mobile Photography Awards.

A Great Day in Charm City

This is a 16 mm, black & white, cinema verite piece showing two of Baltimore's vanishing traditions. They represent times when magic enters the everyday. It is currently available on Amazon Prime. It screened in LA with the Marina Del Ray Film Festival & in NY with New Filmmakers NY at the Anthology Film Archives. It has also screened with the Puerto Madero Film Festival, Argentina, The Cutting Room, Nottingham, UK and Experiments in Cinema. It was included in the Very Best of Experiments in Cinema Anthology.

Sketchbook Project

This is work I did in conjunction with the Sketchbook Project and the Brooklyn Art Library. I did 3 sketchbooks between 2011 and 2012 which traveled with the Sketchbook Project and were exhibited nationally and internationally. I was inspired by Easter, as some of the sketches were done in the spring, the circus and walks with my dog.

Spring Roll - Animation Stills

This hand drawn animated piece combines my interest in painting and drawing with film. In it, a chicken encounters a Chinese Dragon. I was inspired by my experience with a Chinese New Year celebration. These are 10 stills from that piece in 2008.

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Raissa's Curated Collection

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